A Department of Transportation official tells state lawmakers there will be enough salt to battle the winter weather in Iowa despite a nationwide shortage. Winter operations manger, Dennis Burkheimer, says they tried to buy 300,000 tons of salt this year, but only got bids for 250,000 tons. He says 31 D.O.T. garages didn’t get any reasonable bids for salt.
Burkheimer says it’s the first time in history that some of the locations did not get any salt bids. He says they had a special bid letting in May for those 31 locations, and still did not get any bids. Burkheimer says they’ll have to do some shuffling of the supply. He says they’ll have to move salt as they need it throughout the season and move it from other garages to the ones that need salt.
Burkheimer says there’s enough salt, but it’ll take a little more work to get it in the right places. "This is going to be an ongoing effort for us this year to make sure that we maintain our garages with as much salt as we possibly can," Burkheimer says. Burkheimer says the state has sold some 6,000 tons of salt to cities and counties who are also feeling the pinch. He says the average price on the salt contracts this year is $63 a ton, up from $50 a ton last year.
Burkheimer made his comments in a recent briefing of lawmakers on the current snow removal season.